Columbine’s Veil

Title: Columbine’s Veil
Composer: Greg Smith
Instrumentation: Piano
Product medium: PDF score



Background:

Pierrot, separated from his love Columbine, is weeping in his room. Overcome with sorrow, he falls asleep in the corner. Some friends of Pierrot come to visit. When they eventually find him, they fetch a nearby pianist and suggest waking Pierrot with a dance. However, the waltz fails to wake him up. Eventually Pierrot wakes. His friends tease him for sleeping through their “entertainment”, and tease him by seizing a portrait of Columbine. They continue to dance around the room, mocking Pierrot’s misfortune. The friends leave. The pianist, unaware that they had left, continues playing, but is hastily stopped by an ill-tempered Pierrot.

Once again alone, Pierrot contemplates suicide. He fetches a poison potion, but is interrupted by a knock on the door. It is his love Columbine. She is dressed in a wedding dress. Pierrot tears off her veil and his thoughts return to suicide. Columbine is ready to die with him, but only after they have have enjoyed some festivities. Although they enjoy some merry making, Pierrot remembers the goblet and his resolve to die, and sips the goblet. He invites Columbine to take a sip, but she hesitates. Pierrot dies, and Columbine flees.

At Columbine’s parents’ house, the wedding ball is taking place. The dance master announces a quadrille. Having started the music, the dance master notices that Columbine is not present to dance with her partner, Harlequin. The dance master, invites the other company to dance a minuet. Harlequin grows increasingly restless at the disappearance of his newlywed wife. Columbine enters and explains that she was tending to her attire. Harlequin doesn’t believe her. The guests continue to dance their minuet. Seeing that the situation may get out of control, the dance master starts a wild gallop as a distraction from the unrest of the newlyweds. A Moor appears to offer the guests a drink. When Columbine reaches to take a glass, the Moor disappears and sees the ghost of Pierrot holding her wedding veil. Columbine returns to Pierrot’s room to retrieve her veil. Columbine has followed her, and discovers the body of Pierrot. He locks Harlequin in a room with Pierrot’s body as revenge for her infidelity. Trapped and in despair, Harlequin drinks the poison and dies at Pierrot’s feet.

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